Lies, **** lies, and Statistics

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DavRedf

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Does anyone else get suspicious when they see, "adjusted for inflation" or "seasonally adjusted" or "not taking into account mortgages/school leavers/part itme workers" and all the other tricks that make thier figures mean exactly what they want them to.
Here in the UK they say that the rate of inflation Seasonally adjusted is 1.4%. OK so inflation is 1.4% and the figues say so so how do they arrive at them when prices (not including petrol);)
are rising at 2.5%, council tax rose by an average 20% and the base rate is rising so money costs more.
If you take all into account the figues are obviously wrong but our lawmakers wouldnt lie to us so they are "adjusted" or "not taking into account" and the sad thing is most people believe in them.
Still I suppose that is why government has so many culinary accountants in thier employ. TO COOK THE BOOKS.

Include a new group into my list of hang at sight( solicitors MPs) statistitions(spelling?)

David
 

powderburner

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A good statistician can make the answer come out to anything you want.

I think the reason for their claim (of like, "1.4%") when you know painfully well that your car's fuel has doubled in price has to do with the distribution of how you spend.
They figure that you are buying a house, you have a mortgage with monthly payments locked in, and that you have 23 more years to go on payments, so that part 'has not gone up.'
They figure that you just bought a new refrigerator last year, and it's going to last three or four more years, so that part of your expenses is not going up.
And they play these games to come up with silly numbers like 0.7 and 1.3, because if they told the truth it would scare the cr*p out of people and we would all end up rioting.
 

Milo

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A company was interviewing for a statistician one day.

Interviewer: Can you tell me 2 + 2 equals?
Candidate1: Well 2 + 2 is 4 he said proudly.
Interviewer: Thank you, we will be in contact.

Interviewer: Can you tell me 2 + 2 equals?
Candidate2: The answer is 4 of course.
Interviewer: Thank you, we will be in contact.

Interviewer: Can you tell me 2 + 2 equals?
Candidate3: What do you want it to equal?
Interviewer: You're hired, welcome aboard.
 

Mike

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Well 90% of statistics are made up on the spot! :D
 

WiK

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"Statistics can be used to prove anything! 78% of all people know that!"

Homer Simpson :D

Phil
 

DynaSoar

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Originally posted by powderburner
A good statistician can make the answer come out to anything you want.
Speaking as a good statistician, that's not true. A good statistician will find the complete true and correct answer, within a stated confidence level. To do otherwise would be found out by other good statisticians.

A bad statistician will not give the whole truth. A poor statistician will not give the right answer, but by mistake rather than malfeasance.

Most of the "bad" data provided to the public does not usually come that way from statisticians. Usually, at least competent statisticians provide the best answer they can, and people with agendas other than the whole truth will present only those parts they wants known and which support their agenda. A good statistician, indeed anyone trained in even basic statistics, can tell when this is happening.
 

DavRedf

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DynaSoar
Please forgive me if I remain unconvinced.

David
 

loojack

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My dad always said, "Figures don't lie, but liers figure". He must have known more than I gave him credit for!!! Go figure!.. loojack
 

Hospital_Rocket

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Dave

As an engineer I can tell you statistics is just math. And math is about a pure a science as there is. Data is just that, it's how you interpret it that matters. I agree with Dynasoar in that you may find error in a statistician's work, however you will seldom find outright lies. I will concede that statistics is probably the only branch of math that factors in a margin of error.

It ain't the mathemetician who is misleading people with statistical data. It will be the people they work for.

A
 

jflis

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ok, so a man is in a hot air balloon and gets *totally* lost...

he drifts down toward a building in the city and hollors at someone he sees sitting in an office...

"HEY! Can you tell me where I am??"

The guy looks out the window at him and says:

"Sure, you're in a hot air balloon about 100 feet in the air."

The guy in the balloon says: "say, you must be a statistician."

The guy in the office says "yes, how did you know?"

And he replied "well, you gave me an answer that was 100% accurate and provided me with absolutely NO information that was usefull...."

LOL

my bad
 

SecretSquirrel

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Originally posted by jflis
ok, so a man is in a hot air balloon and gets *totally* lost...

he drifts down toward a building in the city and hollors at someone he sees sitting in an office...

"HEY! Can you tell me where I am??"

The guy looks out the window at him and says:

"Sure, you're in a hot air balloon about 100 feet in the air."

The guy in the balloon says: "say, you must be a statistician."

The guy in the office says "yes, how did you know?"

And he replied "well, you gave me an answer that was 100% accurate and provided me with absolutely NO information that was usefull...."

LOL

my bad


I'm writing that one down for future use! :)
 

Milo

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You want to talk about spinning statistics... look no further than the current US presidential race.

Opps... that is politics... sorry we can't talk about that here. :)
 

Hospital_Rocket

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Opps... that is politics... sorry we can't talk about that here.
No, that is either comedy or tragedy. Far as I know you moderators have never bounced either categoy
 

Neil

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Ugh. I wont take sides, but I cant wait for the election to be over... Its almost to the point I dont care WHO the heck wins, just get the attack ads away!!!;) Those two are going to be going at eachother for the next HOW many months!? UGH.

I love the "what do you want it to equal" one! LOL! Thats a keeper.

My dad does enviormental consulting for a job, and sometimes he has to do statistics.... It sounds extremely dry... its somewhere near "Burger Flipper at McDonalds" on my list of career choices... ;) :D

Methinks ill keep looking for ways to make money.... :D
 

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